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Pritzker signs 133 bills

Friday, Jul 28, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

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* Posted in the order received. Napo…

The South Suburban Airport may soon be reality, thanks to a law championed by State Senator Napoleon Harris, III.

For the last 40 years, lawmakers have attempted to secure a south suburban airport in the Monee community. Where many lawmakers have failed – Harris (D-Harvey) fought and held the state accountable to fulfill its promises to the South Suburbs by requiring the state to establish the process to find partners in the construction of a new south suburban airport.

“This is a touchdown for communities across the South Suburbs,” Harris said. “This airport will serve as an economic engine for our communities and provide local businesses with access to global markets for generations to come.”

The South Suburban Airport Act, which became law more than a decade ago, established that the state may develop a prequalification process. Since its enactment, no process has been established until Harris’ advocacy and leadership in getting this venture into the end zone.

Harris has worked tirelessly to secure this vital resource that will generate new opportunities for job creation and local revenue and help residents across the Southern Cook and Will counties to improve their quality of life.

“For years, the residents of our district have been promised this economic tool,” Harris said. “I am proud to be able to partner with local community leaders to bring home this win for the region.”

This accomplishment will be truly appreciated by communities across the South Suburbs who have been promised access to this vital infrastructure for decades.

House Bill 2531 was signed into law on Friday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

* Glowiak Hilton…

All schools in Illinois will now be required to supply opioid antagonists for students thanks to a new law led by State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton.

“By ensuring that naloxone is readily available to all students in Illinois, we are helping save our children’s lives,” said Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs). “The opioid epidemic has taken a toll on our communities. It’s time we develop and implement the necessary precautions to protect everyone in our classrooms.”

House Bill 3428 will require all K-12 school districts to maintain a supply of an opioid antagonist, a medication that can be used to reverse an opioid overdose, in a secure location. Naloxone should be given to any person who shows signs of an opioid overdose or when an overdose is suspected.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that opioid overdoses in Illinois have increased 33% from 2019 to 2020, with there being 2,944 opioid overdose fatalities.

“Increasing accessibility of naloxone will provide our educators and faculty with another tool to combat this epidemic,” said Glowiak Hilton. “We need to take every precaution we can to save lives and end this horrific crisis.”

House Bill 3428 was signed into law Friday and goes into effect Jan. 1 2024.

* Koehler…

Drug manufacturers and distributors will now be unable to spike the costs of generic medication thanks to a law spearheaded by State Senator Dave Koehler.

“Every Illinoisan deserves affordable access to necessary medication,” said Koehler (D-Peoria). “This law prevents companies from robbing residents just for an extra buck.”

House Bill 3957 creates the Illinois Generic Drug Pricing Fairness Act, which prohibits manufacturers and distributors from engaging in price gouging of essential off-patent and generic medication.

“We need to stake a stand for our residents and prohibit companies from these manipulative schemes,” said Koehler. “There should never be a situation when someone has to decide between picking up their medication or groceries for their family.”

House Bill 3957 was signed into law Friday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

* Simmons…

To increase gender inclusivity across the state of Illinois and within state agencies, State Senator Mike Simmons championed a new law that will support state employees who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming by integrating them into the state’s diverse workforce initiatives.

“This law will ensure our state’s workforce reflects the diversity of our population,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “Recognizing and respecting every identity in the workforce is basic common decency, and everyone deserves to feel seen and supported by the field they want to enter.”

The new law adds state employees who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming to the list of women, minorities and persons with physical disabilities in regards to agencies tracking this information to help guide efforts to achieve a more diversified state workforce.

“Recognizing gender non-conforming and non-binary people in our state government and state agencies is the first step to promoting inclusivity and bringing different perspectives to the table,” Simmons said.

House Bill 2297 was signed into law on Friday and goes into effect on July 1, 2025.

* Simmons…

To increase the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, State Senator Mike Simmons successfully championed a set of new laws to require permanent vehicle crossing signs to be added to bike trails and created a task force to monitor the impact of local bicycle and pedestrian plans.

“Last summer we lost the lives of two children, on two separate occasions, to cyclists’ accidents in our community,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “We want our residents to feel safe by providing them with the security of increased protections for pedestrians and cyclists to prevent heartbreaking tragedies like we experienced last year.”

Senate Bill 1710 requires bike trails to have warning signs along the path warning pedestrians and cyclists of a vehicle crossing at least 150 feet in advance. The new law ensures cyclists on a trail have ample warning to know when to slow down and stop before a busy intersection. Permanent signage on state roadways warning vehicles of bicycle trail crossings also must be added within 150 feet of a trail crossing so vehicles can yield. Signs to warn cyclists of other trail hazards, damage to the trail, and maintenance of the trail will be installed.

Additionally, House Bill 2131 creates the Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force to help reduce bicycle accidents on roads by reporting detailed analysis of existing practices around speed limits, the reduction of speed limits, the steps to eliminate vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle fatalities on roads, and their lasting impact.

“We can prevent bicycle injuries and accidents by following the rules of the road and watching out for each other,” Simmons said. “I am happy to see these initiatives go into effect to make roadways and bike trails safer for everyone.”

Senate Bill 1710 was signed into law on Friday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024. House Bill 2131 was signed into law on Friday and goes into effect immediately.

* Porfirio…

Military service members and the Department of Revenue will see improvements when it comes to requesting and processing sales tax exemptions, thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Mike Porfirio.

“There are many sacrifices that our service men and women have made and they deserve any appreciation we can give them,” said Porfirio (D-Lyons Township). “This legislation removes the burden on our service members and provides them with a simpler way to receive this sales tax exemption.”

Senate Bill 1705 would eliminate the need for sales tax exemption certificates by members of the military. Instead, when making an exempt purchase, a service member can present a valid military ID and a form of payment where the military organization is the payor, as well as complete a form by the Department of Revenue.

Currently, the process to receive such exemption requires a single-use sales tax exemption certificate. This has caused the Department of Revenue’s exemption certificate system to become cluttered, with military members frequently applying for certificates as they relocate. Additionally, military members often require an exemption certificate on short notice, leading to delays in the Department’s processing and mailing of certificates.

“This will serve as a small token of appreciation for our service members,” said Porfirio. “It is commonsense to streamline this process for all parties involved.”

The law was signed on Friday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

* Porfirio…

To build the public’s trust and establish ethical guidelines, State Senator Mike Porfirio supported a measure that addresses ongoing concerns regarding automated traffic enforcement.

“Being an elected official, it’s important to ensure you gain the public’s trust and hold yourself to the highest ethical standards,” said Porfirio (D-Lyons Township). “Accountability and honesty should be at the base of all we do.”

The measure prohibits campaign contributions from contractors who provide the automated traffic enforcement equipment, any political action committee created by such a contractor and any affiliates. Campaign contributions from such sources have been a cause for controversy in past years.

Further, beginning six months before an automated traffic law enforcement system is installed at an intersection, a county or municipality may not change the yellow light interval at that intersection.

Additionally, IDOT can revoke any permit for red light cameras if any official or employee who serves that county or municipality is charged with bribery, official misconduct or a similar crime related to the placement, installation or operation of the automated traffic law enforcement system in the county or municipality.

“It is our duty as state legislators to commit to ethical behavior,” said Porfirio. “Honesty and trust should be at the forefront of our minds. This law will ensure the public can trust those who represent them.”

House Bill 3903 was signed by the governor Friday and goes into effect immediately.

* Villa…

To support the rights of youth committed to county-operated juvenile detention facilities, State Senator Karina Villa championed a new law that ensures youth in these facilities have access to independent assistance and protection.

“Regardless of how these individuals came to be in the detention facilities, they are still young and in need of protection,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “All people in a detention facility should be treated humanely and equally and deserve the chance for a better future — especially those who are minors.”

Under this law, the Office of Independent Juvenile Ombudsman will act as an ombudsman for and secure the rights of youth committed to county-operated juvenile detention facilities or the Department of Juvenile Justice. The ombudsman’s role is to ensure that the rights of youth within the county-operated juvenile detention facilities are fully observed and to assist in pursuing services for committed youth and their families.

The law defines county-operated juvenile detention facilities as any shelter care home, detention care home, or facility designated to detain youth that is not a police or other temporary law enforcement holding location.

“This law will make sure there will always be someone advocating for youth who are detained in the county facilities,” Villa said. “Just because someone has made a mistake does not mean we should give up on them. This law will fight for the children left behind in these detention facilities.”

Senate Bill 2197 was signed on Friday and goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2025.

The SDems are really good at getting releases out the door.

…Adding… I’m gonna post these and then I’m taking my usual Friday afternoon nap. Villa…

There will be more protections against gender-related violence in the workplace thanks to a new law passed by State Senator Karina Villa.

“This law aims to make sure those in a position of power are held responsible for protecting their employees and held accountable when they fail,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “Work should never feel like an unsafe environment for anyone; employees should feel protected by their employers, especially those more at risk for gender-related violence.”

This new law clarifies when an employer can be held liable for gender-related violence committed in the workplace to include if the employer failed to supervise, train or monitor the employee who engaged in the violence; failed to investigate complaints or reports provided to a supervisor or manager and failed to take remedial measures in response to the complaints; or if the gender-related violence was the proximate cause of an injury.

This law also establishes a four-year statute of limitation for bringing a claim of gender-related violence against an employer. In comparison, the statute of limitations for charges of sexual harassment filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is 300 days.

“Gender-related violence has been a growing issue, taking place in stores, homes and the workplace,” Villa said. “I wish for everyone to feel safer in their day-to-day lives, and this law is a good first step to help women and others who feel threatened in the workplace.”

If you or a loved one is experiencing partner- or gender-related violence, help is available through the Illinois Department of Human Services’ 24-hour hotline at 877-863-6338 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.

House Bill 1363 was signed into law on Friday and goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

* Villa…

There will be more opportunities to donate to the Illinois Dream Fund, which provides scholarships to eligible college students, thanks to a new law by State Senator Karina Villa.

“No matter someone’s immigration status, they deserve the right to education,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “This law will increase funds for scholarships, giving more students the opportunity to attend college.”

The new law allows customers who transmit money internationally the option to voluntarily donate a portion of their money to the Illinois Dream Fund, whose mission is to provide life-changing financial support to non-citizens who wish to pursue higher education and help them successfully work toward degree completion.

Under this law, the Illinois Dream Fund Commission will also develop a comprehensive program, including creation of informational materials and a marketing plan, to educate people in Illinois about the purpose and benefits of contributions made to the Illinois Dream Fund, such as increasing scholarship opportunities.

“Contributing to someone’s education is a wonderful and noble thing to do,” Villa said. “I encourage everyone who can donate to look into giving to the Illinois Dream Fund when the time comes.”

House Bill 3233 was signed on Friday and goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

* Fine…

The Illinois Department of Public Health’s Newborn Screening program will soon scan for Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, or MLD, a rare genetic disease, thanks to legislation from State Senator Laura Fine.

“Newborns are tested for a variety of disorders with the Newborn Screening Program so that caregivers can plan to support their child’s treatment quickly,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “Including MLD will ensure caregivers of children with MLD are also able to begin their treatment plans as soon as possible.”

MLD is a genetic disorder leading to progressive loss of nervous system function and early death. Currently, MLD is diagnosed through a blood test looking for enzyme deficiency, a urine test or genetic testing. Additional tests can be conducted on those who show progressive symptoms of MLD. While there is no cure for MLD, diagnosing the disease early can lead to treatment options that make a significant difference in the patient’s quality of life.

“Although there is no cure for MLD, having a diagnosis will allow children to receive care that can greatly improve their quality of life,” said Fine. “Adding MLD to the newborn screening list will help families prepare the most effective treatment options to better support their child.”

Senate Bill 67 was signed into law on Friday. It goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

* Villa…

A measure sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa that addresses the shortage of nurses in health care facilities across Illinois was signed into law Friday.

“The ongoing nurse shortage in our state demands our immediate attention,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “Our nurses are the backbone of our health care system, and we owe it to them and our communities to address this issue with urgency. By empowering the Illinois Nursing Workforce Center to look for ways to address the shortage, our hope is this new law will help us retain and recruit nurses throughout our state.”

The growing scarcity of nurses in Illinois, especially in Southern Illinois, hurts patients and existing nurses who have to work without a full staff in some cases. Nurses are a critical part of health care and make up the largest portion of health care professionals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 275,000 additional nurses will be needed from 2020 to 2030.

Villa’s law directs the Nursing Workforce Center to develop strategies to make sure proper actions are being taken to address the statewide nurse shortage. The Nursing Workforce Center will be required to develop a plan to increase the number of nurses in the workforce by distributing a nursing workforce supply survey with all license renewals beginning in 2024. By 2027, the Nursing Workforce Center will develop a nurse demand and employer survey that will be collected biennially.

“Nurses are not just vital health care professionals,” Villa said. “They are caring individuals who dedicate their lives to serving others. We must create an environment that supports and values their contributions to our communities.”

House Bill 1615 was signed into law Friday and goes into effect immediately.

* Peters…

Thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters, time served in county jail will soon be included as part of the minimum 60-day sentence required to earn discretionary sentence credit.

“Public safety reform needs to happen at every stage of the system,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Instead of being treated as a number, incarcerated individuals ought to be treated as the humans they are. Modernizing earned sentence credit methods is one way to recognize the humanity of incarcerated individuals.”

Peters’ new law also ensures the Department of Corrections will recalculate program credits awarded to those with justice system involvement who completed rehabilitation programs or re-entry planning before July 2021 at the rate set for the credits on and after July 2021.

“Individuals involved in the justice system who participate in rehabilitation programs while serving time are making positive strides toward personal development and should be rewarded,” said Peters. “This new law makes sure that earned sentence credit is not only awarded to those who have earned it, but is rewarded on a consistent basis.”

House Bill 3026 was signed into law Friday.

* Peters…

With the intention of studying a potential payment plan program for owner-occupants to repay delinquent property taxes, State Senator Robert Peters’ measure creating the Property Tax Payment Plan Task Force was signed into law.

“Cook County’s annual sale of delinquent property taxes puts people at risk of losing their homes if they fall behind on their property taxes,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Property tax sales and delinquent tax redemption disproportionately affect Black and Brown folks, especially seniors and those living with disabilities.”

Peters’ new law creates the Property Tax Payment Plan Task Force to study a potential payment plan program for residents to repay delinquent property taxes and make recommendations for implementing one or more payment plan options in Cook County. The Task Force will issue a report by Nov. 15, 2023, which will take into account the impact of the payment plan on homeowners, taxpayers, local agencies responsible for the collection of property taxes, and local taxing districts.

“Some people are losing their homes despite owing less than $1,000,” said Peters. “This new task force will illuminate the problems with the current property tax payment system and help local agencies develop ways to partner with homeowners to ensure payment of property taxes instead of taking advantage of people in tough financial situations.”

Senate Bill 74 was signed into law Friday.

* Peters…

A steadfast champion of criminal justice reform and the rights of people involved in the justice system, State Senator Robert Peters expanded upon his work broadening the civil liberties of the more than 70,000 people on probation in Illinois, which was signed into law Friday.

“Probation offers individuals an opportunity to have a sense of freedom under supervision,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Supervision while adjusting back into modern society should reflect the same rights as civilians in order to accurately judge a person’s ability to maintain the safety of a community.”

Under the new law, an individual on probation, conditional discharge or supervision will not be ordered to refrain from cannabis or alcohol except in specified circumstances. If a court orders someone on probation to be tested for cannabis or alcohol, a statement detailing the relation between the condition of probation and the crime must be provided. The law ensures individuals on probation will not be charged for costs associated with mandatory testing.

Peters’ law also prevents courts from ordering a person on probation, conditional discharge or supervision to refrain from using any substance lawfully prescribed by a medical provider or authorized by the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act.
“There are often circumstances in which individuals on probation use substances like cannabis for medical reasons,” said Peters. “Eliminating barriers for those on probation with a medical diagnosis, as long as the liberties are unrelated to the circumstances that landed them on probation, is a positive step toward true public safety reform.”

Senate Bill 1886 was signed into law Friday.


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